Our 5th and arguably our best yet!
“Men & Magnificent Music, our fifth massed choirs concert, was not just a fantastic event it was a logistical triumph. Terry Morrison, Dave Witt and Alan Willsher made it happen with sheer hard work, brilliant planning and focussed attention to every detail. RMVC definitely owes them a debt of gratitude. We are also grateful for the generosity of our four sponsors, Michael Rhodes, Bells Solicitors, Winchester University and Rathbones. Please know we greatly appreciate your support. Then more thanks must go to our Green Sashes or WAGS who were sterling in preparing the tea for the visiting choirs, manning the interval refreshment stalls and helping, where help was needed, throughout the rehearsals and concert. RMVC is indeed extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated team.
However, it was of course our amazing guest male choirs, RMVC itself, the musical directors and accompanists, Kevin Cleary, our marshal, Terry as compere and the video team, who brought the concert to life and made it so special for the wonderfully appreciative audience. And we must as well place firmly on record our thanks to Dame Esther Rantzen, who for the second time gave up her Saturday night for an RMVC concert in support of Parkinson’s UK, the chosen charity for the event. She entertained, she promoted the charity, and she made all of us feel great with her praise for the choirs’ singing. Many thanks Esther. It will be a little while before we know the final amount raised on the night, but I am confident it will prove a significant sum for a cause close to many of our hearts.
On to the concert itself. What can I say? Very well done to all the MVCs, Hart, Cowbridge, Swindon, Rushmoor and Romsey, and to all the choristers, numbering 238. The audience was at times surprised, and occasionally amused, entertained as it was with a varied selection of music from Choirs’ repertoires, featuring old favourites sung alongside less well-known pieces in a blend to satisfy all tastes. Not surprisingly though the stand out performances came when the 5 choirs joined together to fill the Abbey with the strength and depth of male voices. American Trilogy, accompanied by Richard Stannard on the Abbey organ, Gwahoddiad, conducted by RMVC Patron Hayden James, Softly as I Leave You and another favourite, Speed Your Journey, were amongst the joint numbers performed. Then finally the audience was invited to stand in unity with the choirs to sing Cwm Rhondda.
The Afterglow – well we always like to have one - and it was our wonderful MD Marion Maxey and her fellow teachers at Romsey Abbey C of E Primary School who made it possible. Food, and beverage was provided by them, and the School Hall and playground made ready to host around 300 choristers and their guests. Chatting, eating and (of course) singing was a relaxing and pleasurable way to savour the balmy summer night and complete a memorable evening before heading home.
Finally, I can’t finish without giving a huge vote of thanks from all of us at RMVC to our visiting Choirs, Hart MVC, Rushmoor MVC, Cowbridge MVC and Swindon MVC – we definitely couldn’t have done it without you Boys!
See you again soon.”
Photographs courtesy of ace photographers Terry Jamieson, Philip Clewer, and Simon Grove